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At a meeting of the Council of the Surtees Society, on the fourth day of December, 1834, it was
Resolved— That four hundred copies of a manuscript, hitherto unpublished, entitled Reginaldi Monachi Dunel
MENSIS LIBELLUS DE ADMIRANDIS BEATI CUTHBERTI VIRTU
TIBUS QUÆ NOVELLIS PATRATÆ SUNT TEMPORIBUS, be printed
by the Society.
REFATORIAL REMARKS seem necessary, relative to the Author whose book is now for the first time published, and the reasons which have induced the SURTEES SOCIETY to commence with him the series of their publications.
Of Reginald, the writer of the present volume, or rather, let us say, the eredulous collector of the legends it contains, nothing is known, save that he was a Monk of Durham in the twelfth century. In the York MS., hereafter mentioned, he is called “of Coldingham,” by which may, perhaps, be intimated, that he was a native of that place; but as the Priory of Coldingham was at his period a Cell attached to the great Monastery of Durham, which stationed its Monks in its distant establishments and recalled them at pleasure, his being styled “of Coldingham” implies, perhaps, merely this, that he was once a resident there by command of his
superior, the Prior of Durham. Among the Monks of Durham, Reginald was, at the time our Author flourished, a not uncommon name ; but it is probably of himself he speaks in p. 167, “unus—Reginaldus nomine.” Xenophon and Cæsar had set him the example. Of his period there can be no doubt, as he speaks (p. 180) of an event which happened in the year 1165, “ nostris diebus," and gives other dates down to the year 1172 (p. 254), and as the “ Libellus” is dedicated to St. Ethelred, the celebrated Abbot of Rievaulx, who was then advanced in years (p. 7), and whose life is known to have extended into the latter half of the twelfth century.
It was chiefly at the suggestion, and partly by the assistance, of the Abbot of Rievaulx that the present collection was made. “ In hujus tamen studii operam, Dominus Etheldredus Abbas Rievallensis nostri timoris roboravit audaciam ; qui sæpiùs nonnulla miracula nobis Beatum Cuthbertum magnificando retulit”—“miracula, igitur, quæ de ipsius ore didicimus, ipsius autenticâ sanctitate esse veridica non diffidimus," p. 4 and 32. Reginald, at p. 7, intimates that the whole compilation was submitted to the Abbot for his correction; and these
l circumstances may serve to explain the title of the York copy of the book“ Libellus de miraculis S. Cuthberti secundum Reginaldum de Coldingham, Incipit proemium in subsequentem libellum de virtutibus et miraculis gloriosi Pontificis Cuthberti, secundum Etheldredum venerabilem Abbatem Rievallensis Ecclesiæ et Reginaldum monachum de Coldingham, directum Priori et Conventui Ecclesiæ Dunelmensis.” The title which we have prefixed to our volume is afforded by the manuscript